Sunday, December 22, 2013

Westminister Costa Rica Music Adventure

March 21st  ----- Arrive & Drive to Village of Sitio de Mata (Homestays)

Today you will be met outside the airport by your CRR private guide and driver. If you can show up on an early day flight it would be best. Jetblue offers an early arrival as does American from the Miami area. This will allow us to be out of  San Jose and make the 2 1/2 hour drive to the village of Sitio de Mata located in mountains of Turrialba before the city rush hour traffic. If your flight is early it would be great to stop at the National Theatre in the center of San Jose to show the kids where the National Symphony plays and a little history lesson on the coffee boom, arrival of Europeans, and construction of the National Theatre (including a quick history of music in the region).

We will arrive to Sitio de Mata in early afternoon where the homestay families will be waiting for us. We will gather as a group and assign the kids to their new families. We can have two or three kids to a homestay and the houses are so close together that it almost feels like one big home. The homestays are split up into two different extended families offering a real community feel to our stay.

Hanging with your new friends!
When we arrive we will take a quick tour of the village and have dinner with your families and get some rest for the next 6 days of service and fun. (Meals: Lunch & Dinner)

Evening Activity: Get situated in homestays and Reflection on first impressions. Journal topic is your first impressions.

March 22nd ----- Visit School with Music Introduction (Homestays)

Today we will get straight to work on making a difference in the community. After you confirmed that this trip was approved we had a meeting the day after and the school and community has had music on their wishlist for the kids for years now. With the excitement of the introduction of this program I will leave it to you and the kids to decide how you want to present it. We can divide the kids into small groups and give quick lessons on music? We can offer a small demonstration on playing music?  Maybe your kids could give a short backround/history lesson of music? There seems to be a number of ways I think we can do this to make it engaging for the local kids and  beneficial for the Miami Christian kids.

Recycled Crafts by Doña Fressy
After working with the kids we can spend the afternoon getting a local soccer game together or learning how to make tortillas or other cultural activities. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Evening Activity: Reflection on the day. Journal on the topic of the experience of working with the kids.

March 23rd  ----- Music Activity & Evening Fiesta with Music Presentations for Local Village (Homestays)

Today we can continue the work we did at the school on the previous day. We can take a more advanced look into the music instruments or just polish our skills from the previous day.  In the evening we will have an organized event where the local kids will put on some of their school performances and Miami Christian kids are welcome to perform also. 

Evening Activity: Reflection on the day, souvenir shop at local recycled craft store by local moms, and local fiesta and performances.

March 24th ----- Enter Pacuare River (Pacuare Ecolodge)

Lets get wet!
Listed by National Geographic as one of the top 5 most scenic rivers on the planet is the Pacuare River. This is a great day of adventure and fun. We will make the 30 minute drive to where we will put in and start our day on the river rafting, walking to waterfalls, and having a lunch prepared for you on the side of the river bank. We will make our way down to an area of the river we will stop at and spend the night. This is the CRR Pacuare Ecolodge that will be your private lodge for the night with breath-taking views of the surrounding rainforest, mountains, and river.

In the evening we will get the bon-fire going and a chance to sit around, roast marshmallows, and tell some stories. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Evening Activities: Discuss Your Top 3 of the Homestay Experience, Journal Free Writing, Bon-fire & Marshmallows! 

The Scenic Pacuare River
March 25th  ----- River Rafting & Drive to Arenal Volcano (Los Lagos Hotel)

Today you will raft the most scenic part of the river. You will float past 150 foot waterfalls and through 300ft canyons making it an unforgettable experience for all. Once we finish the rafting we will take out of the river around noon and enjoy a hearty meal before we make the 3 hour drive to the Arenal Volcano.

The Arenal Volcano is one of the most picturesque volcanos on Earth. It is perfectly cone-shaped. Here  we will be staying at the Los Lagos Resort where the kids will have a chance to enjoy a large pool area and more of a deserved luxury feel after their three days in homestays and the ecolodge. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Evening Activity: Journal Writing about being in Nature at the Ecolodge,  Discuss what you miss about the homestays, time in the pool area!
Arenal Volcano

March 26th ----- Zipline and Visit La Fortuna Waterfalls (Los Lagos Hotel)

Today is a great way to end an epic week. We will take you to the zipline adventure where you will zip across the rainforest on different cables with some of the finest views of the volcano and lake Arenal found anywhere. During your adventure the kids will also get a chance to learn about the rainforest and the wonders of it's incredible diversity.

After zipping through the rainforest we will make our way to one of the most scenic waterfalls in Costa Rica where the kids will hike on 500 steps that will take them to a beautiful swimming hole at the bottom of the La Fortuna Waterfall. 
La Fortuna Falls

In the evening we will have a farewell activity and a chance to reflect about the last seven days. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Evening Activity: Journal writing about your top 3 moments of the week, Reflect on top 3 events of the week in an open discussion.

March 27th ----- Fly Home!

Today we will make the drive to the San Jose Airport (SJO) which is 2 1/2 hours from the hotel. Take into account when making your flight reservation that you will want to arrive 2 hours before the flight. It will be ideal to have a flight that is not very early in the morning for this itinerary. (Meals: Breakfast)